A good friend of mine confessed to me last week that as much as she enjoyed reading all the posts on theoysterblog, she personally did not understand what the fuss was about in regard to oysters. Apparently her one and only experience with oysters had not ended well, and so she asked if I wouldn’t mind to take her out on an oyster adventure. How could I say no to that?
Remembering that she really liked mussels, I decided we would use this opportunity to check out Flex Mussels in the West Village. In the small chance that I would not be able to get her on the oyster bandwagon, at least she can enjoy a meal that she definitely likes.
Having heard only great things about this restaurant, I figured it would be the perfect place. And boy was I right.
The oyster variety at Flex Mussel changes daily. Upon being seated, our waiter told us that besides the four types already displayed on their Oyster Board, they had just received two more. This was a great sign for the quality of the food the restaurants serves. The east coast oysters that day were: Cavendish Cup from P.E.I, Island Creek from Massachusetts, and Pemaquid from Maine. As for the west, they were offering Fanny Bays from B.C., Shigoku from Washington, and Kumamotos from Washington as well.
Deciding to try them all, we ordered two of each, making a beautiful dozen.
All of the oysters were very well shucked. Besides one or two that required a small tug, the oysters were intact, with brine and at a perfectly chilled temperature.
The Cavendish Cup were very clean, crisp and simple. They had a tiny bit of a seaweed finish and not much salt.
The Island Creeks were not salty at all, contrary to what one would expect from an east coast oyster. They were plump, with a good amount of meat and a sweeter finish.
The Pemaquids were the simplest of them all. Clean and refreshing, but not very memorable. They had a clear finish and no lingering taste.
The Fanny bays, true to their nature were not too complex for a west coast oyster. They had some body to them, and a slight seaweed finish.
The Shigoku were the most entertaining of them all. They were extremely plump, deep cupped and had a strong taste of the sea that only increased as the oyster broke down further in our mouths. It was by far the most complex of all the oysters with a taste that continued to linger for quite a while.
And for our finale, we really enjoyed the Kumamotos. They were plump, sweet and extremely creamy. Just pure joy.
To continue our meal, we shared the Thai mussels and the Number 23 Mussels, which was the special of the day. Both were delicious!! We could not get enough of the Thai broth and kept dipping our bread into it.
Overall, Flex Mussel must be revisited. Their oysters were extremely fresh, well shucked, and change daily. Best of all, my friend loves oysters now. She said her favorite was the fanny bay, which is not a bad pick for someone new to the game.
Thank you Flex Mussels!!
154 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
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